Lightspeed #60 - June 2015
Edited by Seanan McGuire
Cover Artist: Elizabeth Legett
Review by Sam Tomaino
Lightspeed eZine / eMag
Date: 28 June 2015
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the sixtieth issue of Lightspeed, the online magazine, The Queers Destroy Science Fiction issue. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at their website (see link at the top of this review). Here are my reviews of the five original (standard length) stories and the five flash fiction stories.
"Emergency Repair" by Kate M. Galey -+- (First publication)- Our narrator works to save her lover's life by using android technology that she had developed. We get some of their back story. A pretty good debut.
"勢孤取和 (Influence Isolated, Make Peace)" by John Chu -+- Jake is a cyborg who might now be destroyed that the war is over, unless he can lend into society, He meets Tyler, a human soldier and they bond over a mutual interest in the game of Go. But there is something else going on. OK.
"Nothing is Pixels Here" by K.M. Szpara -+- Ash and Zane have lived in a virtual world and want to unplug and get to know each other's real bodies. They do and get an unpleasant surprise. Ash supposedly signed up for this at the age of five. Really? Unbelievable.
"The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coal" by Chaz Benchley -+- Steampunk in an alternate history in which the British Empire has colonized Mars. A group of men who have been exiled there for their sexuality are greeting another very funny witty man also exiled and just called Mr. Holland. They are offered a new drug by a government man to test it. In return, they will not be harassed. Nicely atmospheric.
"Madeleine" by Amal El-Mophtar -+- Madeleine had taken care of her mother for five years while she was dying if Alzheimer's. Now she is dealing with her death and also the after-effects of an experimental drug trial. Alone of all the participants, she is experiencing vivid flashbacks of her childhood. After a while a dark-skinned girl, whose name turns out to be Zeinab starts to appear in them, even though Madeleine does not remember her at all. What is going on? All is resolved in this very touching story.
Here are the Flash Fiction stories:
"Bucket List Found in the Locker of Maddie Price, Age 14, Written Two Weeks Before the Great Uplifting of All Mankind" by Erica L. Satifka -+- The list of a young girl tells her story. Poignant.
"Melioration" by E. Saxey -+- Our narrator remembers a time at college when an obnoxious student is relieved of his constant use of pejorative words. Quite good!
"Rubbing is Racing" by Charles Payseur -+- Illegal drag-racing in space in the future. Fun!
"Helping Hand" by Claudine Griggs -+- Alexandria faces death in the vacuum of space until she uses some cold equations of her own to survive. Clever and perfect.
"The Lamb Chops" by Stephen Cox. -+- Aiden and Harry argue over the pork chops that Aiden ate that were supposed to be for both of them. The science fictional element does rear its head to make this a good story.
This was issue 60 of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their web site at website and support them, if you want to, in some way.